Sunday, April 30, 2017

Becca's Passover Classics

Passover was earlier this month, but that doesn't mean I still can't share my favorite Passover recipes. Here are my favorite spins on the Jewish classics Tzimmes, Charsost, and Matzo Brei:


Sweet Potatoes
Golden Raisins
Dried Cranberries

Olive oil
Red Wine
Garlic Powder
Ginger, powdered or fresh ground
optional: Allspice

and a little extra water

Chop vegetables into equally sized small chunks. In a small bowl, combine all the dry spices. Place vegetables in a large bowl, pour in olive oil, red wine, dry spice blend and ginger. Stir well. Grease a large baking dish. Pour in tzimmes. Cover with tin foil. Bake at 400 degrees – with tin foil on top for about 30 minutes, and then remove tin foil and continue to bake until vegetables are tender and top begins to brown.

Serve alongside chicken, etc.
My favorite combination is chicken, asparagus, tzimmes, and feta cheese.


4-5 Apples (Gala is what I used)
1 Orange
1 Banana
Red Wine or Grape Juice
Ground pecans or walnuts

Wash and quarter apples, peel orange and banana. In a food processor roughly chop up apples, then add orange and banana an pulse a few more times. Pour mixture into a bowl, add wine, cinnamon, and ground nuts. Stir well. Serve right away or store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Serve at Passover, or alongside Matzo Brei!

Matzo Brei (breakfast)

(1 serving)

Oil or cooking spray
2 pieces of Matzo
2 Eggs
1 Tbsp. Milk

In a medium bowl, combine eggs, milk, salt, and cinnamon. Take the two pieces of Matzo and hold them under a faucet of running water until the matzo begins to break apart in your hands. Place matzo in the egg mixture bowl and stir well. Heat a skillet, and add oil or cooking spray. Pour mixture onto skillet, and cook like you would scrambled eggs.

Serve with butter, and either Charoset, jam, or syrup.


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Flavors to Feed the Soul: Five Recipes from the Deep of Winter

While this winter has been a hard one, it's been a very good season for developing interesting and delicious recipes. But as you can see by the number of recipes in this post, I haven't had time to post any of them. I began my third round of the Whole 30 a couple weeks ago, this time sticking to a pseudo version of the food challenge, keeping a limited amount of dairy. You'll see many of the recipes below follow this trend. We may have a few more cold days left of winter, so enjoy!

I made this huge dish for a church potluck. To keep it warm, I transferred a portion to a crock pot. The rest is sitting in my freezer to be enjoyed for many days to come!
Gumbo-Inspired Roasted Chicken & Vegetables
Inspired by Half Baked Harvest

Chicken breast
Olive Oil
Dried Oregano
Dried Thyme
Dried Basil
Chili Powder
Cayenne Pepper
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Black Pepper

Blend spices in small bowl, and set aside. Cut chicken into 2-inch pieces. In a large bowl, coat chicken with oil and pour in spices. Mix well. Grease a large roasting pan. Layer chicken on the bottom of the pan.

1 large Red pepper
1 large Green pepper
3 large Sweet Potatoes
5 medium White Potatoes
1 purple Onion
1 yellow Onion
1 bag of Cranberries
2 cups Brussel Sprouts, quartered

Cut vegetables into 1-inch pieces. Pour into the same large bowl, coat with oil, salt, and pepper. Once blended, pour on top of chicken. Layer with brussel sprouts (washed and quartered) and cranberries (washed and sorted).

3 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
2 cups Chicken Stock
Additional Garlic Powder, Salt, and Pepper

In the same large bowl, combine tomato paste, chicken stock, additional garlic powder, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Whisk together well, and then pour over all contents in the roasting pan.

Cover with tin foil, or a lid, if your roasting pan has a lid. Bake at 400 degrees, 60 minutes with the cover on, and an additional 60 minutes with the cover off.

This is my first time both making Biryani and its soup version. It was daunting, and I don't think I did the original version justice, but this was very delicious. 
Chicken Sweet Potato Biryani Soup

Rice (whatever kind you have on hard)

Chicken, ½ inch pieces
Greek Yogurt
Garam Masala (cumin, coriander, cardamom, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg)
Chili Powder
Fresh ginger, grated
dash of Lemon Juice

Olive Oil
Red Onions, sliced thinly
Red Peppers, sliced thinly
2 Tbsp. Green Chilles
1 can diced Tomatoes
Sweet Potatoes, small cubes
1 carton Chicken Broth
Cilantro leaves
Mint leaves
Chili Powder
Lemon Juice

Start rice (on the stove top of in a rice maker).

In a small bowl, combine all spices and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine chicken, yogurt, lemon juice, ginger, and spices. Mix well. Heat a large frying pan, add oil, and cook chicken until browned, turning as needed.

Chop all vegetables and herbs. Roast sweet potatoes on a greased baking pan until just tender, set aside. In a large soup pot, saute onions and peppers with olive oil and garlic. Add 1 cup cooked rice, cooked chicken, roasted sweet potatoes, green chiles, tomatoes, broth, cilantro, and mint. Stir in additional tahini, spices, lemon juice, and salt/pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Deep winter comfort food at its finest.

Slow Cooked Beef Short Ribs with Root Vegetables and Peas

Beef Short Ribs (boneless)
Onion, diced
Sweet Potatoes
White Potatoes
1 can diced Tomatoes
Chili Powder
Italian herbs
Frozen peas

In a heated skillet, sear short ribs. Remove and lace on the bottom of a crock pot. Pour on spices and diced tomatoes. In that same skillet, lightly brown the diced onions. Pour into crock pot. Add cubed sweet potatoes and white potatoes. Cook for 3-4 hours on high. 2 hours in, stir well and add the frozen peas. Cook until meat is tender.

Serve with bacon and/or feta cheese.

This may be my new favorite meal. Such a blast of flavor!
Zoodles with Mushroom Tomato Sauce, Shrimp and Bacon


Olive Oil
Diced Tomatoes
Italian herbs
Balsamic Vinegar
Little pre-cooked Shrimp

Parmesan cheese

Spiralize the zucchini into zoodles. Set aside.

Saute onions, garlic, mushrooms. Once browned, add tomatoes, herbs, spices, vinegar, and water. Boil until it reaches the preferred consistency. At the same time, in a separate skillet, fry shrimp until golden brown, then add to the sauce. In that same skillet, cook the zoodles until just tender. Serve zoodles with sauce. Optional: add bacon and parmesan cheese.

I've made this pie before, but this time, it turned out far better. Such an amazing combination of sweet and tart! 
Strawberry Cranberry Pie

1 bag of Cranberries
Instant Tapioca
1 cup Sugar
2 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 cup Water
1 tsp. Orange zest
dash of Lemon Juice
3 cups of Strawberries, sliced

1 ¼ cups Flour
1/4 tsp. Salt
4 Tbsp. cold Butter
2 Tbsp. Canola Oil
5 Tbsp. Ice Water

In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Add oil and butter. With a pastry knife, cut butter into the mixture. Sprinkle in ice water, one tablespoon at a time, mixing lightly with a fork. Then shape dough into two disks. Wrap both in plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

Between two pieces of wax paper, roll one of the dough disks into a large circle, a few inches larger than you pie plate. Grease the pie plate, and gently lay dough into plate. Form the edges of the crust with your preferred design. Bake at 350 for 10 or so minutes, until  dough is set. Remove from oven, and set aside. Roll out the other dough disk. Cut slits in a design. Let rest.

Combine all of the ingredients (minus the strawberries and pie crust) in a large saucepan over medium high heat.

Heat until the mixture starts to boil, stirring occasionally. Add strawberries. Continue to boil about 2 minutes. Pour into pie crust. Then take the second pie crust, gently lay on top of the berry mixture, securing around the edges with a bit of water.

Wrap bottom of pie pan with tin foil. Place pie pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in the oven until crust is golden and filling is bubbly (about 50-65 minutes).

Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

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